Find the Youth.

We had a post a few months ago about Tooth in Time Traders, a specialty outdoor retailer who caters to the youth market. This article got us thinking about what information is available to outdoor retailers who want to focus on marketing to youth. After all, it’s summer and time for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors!

Remember, the youth in your community will mature into tomorrow’s outdoor enthusiasts. Find out what already exists for youth outdoor programs in your community. Don’t try to do everything on your own. Share the work and partner with some of these community organizations. You can also look into larger organizations that have local community chapters like the Boy and Girl Scouts and Venturing Crews (a youth development program for young people 13 to 14 years of age). Once you’ve found a partner, your store and employees can lend their outdoor experience in many useful ways, from planning trips or helping with resource management to supporting the adventures through the some sort of leasing or new entry buying program. Some possible community partners might be:

•    Schools – host or help out with field trips.
•    Summer Camps – are any that would be appropriate to partner with?
•    Community Parks and Recreation – create seminars and outdoor events.
•    Sports Clubs  – create family events and invite members to your store.
•   Team up with like-minded retailers and organize family hikes, biking or paddling trips.

You’ll find more resources and good ideas here from the Outdoor Industry Association.

The reasons to get kids involved and active in the outdoors are numerous. According to Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign 40% of the youth in America are considered obese! Inspired physical education and exposing youth to the outdoors will help to create active adults who have a lasting passion and respect for nature. In the process, you’ll find kids are healthier and happier.